Therapist Book Review: Rising Strong, by Brene Brown- September 2015

Rising Strong Book Review | Recommended Books for Therapists

What Your Therapist is Re-reading: Rising Strong by Brene Brown

As you know, if you have read my previous blogs, Brene’ Brown’s best-selling “Daring Greatly” (2012) and the connected curriculum changed my life- and started changing client’s lives through my sessions and workshops a few years ago. 

That book focused on vulnerability and the difficult but rewarding process of stepping into the arena and letting yourself be seen. But many clients asked me, “what happens if I get out there and fail?”

Last year Brene’ released her new book “Rising Strong,” a guide to getting back up after trying and failing to answer those clients’ question.  I've read and re-read it since- the book is THAT GOOD.

In the book Brene outlines three main steps to getting back out there again after a hardship. Read more about the steps below.

I plan to start leading more workshops incorporating her three-step process for getting back up this fall.  If you can’t wait for a retreat read the brief outline below or call me for a consultation to apply it to your own life.

The Reckoning

The Reckoning means recognize and acknowledge our emotions, rather than denying them when we struggle, make mistakes, or fail. It doesn’t help us to offload them by acting out, shutting down, or getting hamstrung by shame.

To recognize our emotions associated with failure, we need to get curious. It takes vulnerability and uncertainty to get curious about ourselves- which isn’t always easy. It can be so much easier to get defensive, act superior, numb out, or overreact and give a quick response we’ll regret later.

It is a courageous act to acknowledge our feelings rather than deny them.

The Rumble

We all make up stories about our struggles based on incomplete information. It’s critical we reality-check our stories with a little critical thinking. When we rumble with our story, we move from our gut responses and defenses to seek a deeper understanding of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors about who we are and how we engage with others.

First, Brene recommends we identify the story we are making up by writing out what she calls a “shitty first draft” (SFD). She says the value of writing down our thoughts and feelings helps us to organize the experience.

When writing the SFD its really important we don’t filter the experience or worry about how our story makes us look. We hold it lightly, using the SFD as a tool to search for the hidden story we’re telling ourselves about our emotions.

After we identify the story we’re making up with our SFD, it’s time to check our (often self-defeating) assumptions. Brene’ recommends asking these questions for a little critical analysis:

  • What do I know objectively?

  • What more do I need to learn and understand about the other people in the story?

  • What more do I need to learn and understand about myself?

Then we can look for the delta – or space- between the story we make up and a more objective truth.

The Revolution

The Revolution is using the Rising Strong process to create revolutionary, rather than incremental transformation.  This means making it a daily practice and way of engaging with the world to build u our skills and resiliency.

Brene’ says, “We know that rumbling is going to be tough, but we head straight into it because we know running [away] is harder. We wade into the brackish delta with open hearts and minds because we’ve come to learn that the wisdom in the stories of our falls makes us braver.”

We know avoiding the issue only means we'll have to face it later.  Learning to rumble with integrity and grace is the core of the Rising Strong and Daring Way curriculum.

Join me to dare greatly and rise strong with a weekend retreat in 2017


Gina Senarighi Couples Counselor | Online Couples Therapy

Gina Senarighi works in Portland, Oregon specializing in positive psychology, living with integrity, building resilience, and strengthening relationships.  

She supports entrepreneurial couples in balancing their busy lives with their relationship needs in couples retreats, communication workshops, and coaching sessions.  Click here to schedule a consultation with her.

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